195-room hotel planned for Pasadena’s Playhouse District

AC Hotel, a business-focused brand of Marriott, could rise on Colorado Boulevard

Charles Company's Mark and Arman Gabay and a rendering of 550 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena (WATG)
Charles Company's Mark and Arman Gabay and a rendering of 550 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena (WATG)

Plans for a 195-room hotel in the Playhouse District have passed a design review with the City of Pasadena.

Welcome Pasadena, based in El Segundo, completed the review for the six-story hotel at 550 East Colorado Boulevard, the Pasadena Star-News reported. It would replace a parking lot.

If approved, the project at the southwest corner of Colorado Boulevard and Madison Avenue would host an AC Hotel, a business-focused brand of Marriott International. The location is south of Pasadena Presbyterian Church and west of Urth Caffe Pasadena.

Plans call for an L-shaped hotel with guest rooms on upper stories and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants.

Charles Company, a West Hollywood-based real estate firm which owns the property, first submitted plans to develop a five-story, 110,000-square-foot medical office building, according to Pasadena Now.

Final approvals were granted in 2015, but the developer updated the proposal for a hotel development in September 2020.

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The AC Pasadena Hotel, designed by Irvine-based WATG, would be sheathed in stone, fake wood and glass.

A rendering depicts a white hotel with large vertical windows, with a corner section of floor-to-ceiling glass, with clear balconies. Beige brick would surround its curbside boutiques. The building features a rooftop deck, landscaped with trees.
Developers Mark and Arman Gabay, who co-founded Charles Company, paid $80 million in August last year for a trio of office properties in Pasadena, The Real Deal reported.

They are also planning to build a 245,000-square-foot residential and retail development in West Hollywood. An office-to-hotel conversion in Beverly Hills is also in the works.

Arman Gabay, whose official name is Arman Gabaee, was accused by federal prosecutors of bribing a Los Angeles County official in exchange for help in securing a government lease worth $45 million in the Hawthorne Plaza mall. In April, he agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1.15 million fine. His sentencing has been continued to Oct. 20.

— Dana Bartholomew

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